Grant's Big Game

FIRST-TEAM coach Peter Grant has called for a single-minded approach from the Hammers players as they look to round off an excellent week with another good performance against Coventry City.

And the former Celtic star warned that good displays against Wigan and Burnley will not automatically gurantee West Ham an easy ride against the Sky Blues at Upton Park.

"We've got to be single-minded in our approach to the rest of the season," he stressed. "We're delighted with the last two results, but nothing has been achieved yet and we've got another very important and very tough game against Coventry coming up.

"It's important that we build on the good run of form that we're in and the only way we'll do that it with another good performance against Coventry. At this stage of the season, it's all about winning games and getting maximum points.

"It's great to have taken six points away from home, but they won't be good points if we don't do the same in our home games. We need a good display in front of our home fans and hopefully we'll give that this weekend."

Under new manager Micky Adams, Coventry's fortunes are also on the up. They've won back-to-back games against Nottingham Forest and Brighton this week, and are in search of points to gurantee their Championship survival. Peter knows the Hammers will face a tough examination of their Play-off credentials on Saturday.

"It's a Cup Final for both teams," he confessed. "They need the points to stay up and we need the points to try and win promotion. It's going to be a really tough game, Micky Adams has got them winning matches again and they'll be a huge amount of confidence in their squad right now.

"But we've got to worry about our own performance rather than theirs. If we play to our potential and take the form we've shown in the last two games into this one then there's no reason why we won't walk away with all three points.

"It's going to take hard work and plenty of character from the players, but there's terrific spirit in our squad just now and everyone is determined to get us into the Play-offs."

Having seen youngsters like Mark Noble, Elliott Ward and Anton Ferdinand all secure regular places in the side over the past couple of months, Peter insists the form of West Ham's young guns is giving Alan Pardew a welcome selection headache.

"The two young players at the back, Anton and Elliott, have both done smashing," beamed Peter. "But there is always room for improvement. It's important to remember that two good games don't make a good footballer and they've got to keep working hard and playing to their ability.

"When fit they'll have Christian Dailly and Malky Mackay pushing them for a place, and that's ultimately what you look for in your squad - good players competing for places in the team. Both Christian and Malky are fantastic pros and they'll want the young lads to do as well as we all hope they do.

"Mark Noble has done terrifically well for us. He is starting to settle his game down now. He doesn't just chase the ball all over the place any more and he's starting to understand what's expected of him in his role. As a result of that, he's starting to find that he gets more touches on the ball.

"We know Mark has tremendous ability. Now it's all about building consistency in his performances. I'm sure he's desperate to score his first goal for the Club, but if I were him the goal every game should be to perform well, because if he does that it's worth a hat-trick in terms of his development.

"Having said that everyone will be delighted for him when he does score his first."